Saturday, May 29, 2010

The EPA, lead paint, and Your Older Home

Chances are, that if your home was built or remodeled before 1978 then it may contain lead based paint. This year the EPA announced a new rule that went into effect this last April. Any Repair, remodeling, or Painting (RRP) that takes place in a home built before 1978 and and disturbing more than 6 sqft of painted surface indoors requires contractors to take specific precautions, to protect homeowners and residents from lead poisoning. A number of the new requirements including testing for lead paint, getting waivers signed, providing homeowners with lead paint literature and brochures, installing plastic barriers, wearing respirators, removing waste properly, and completely cleaning up any contaminated dust.

Below is an example of the plastic barriers that I installed in a home recently. I needed to cut through 30+ sqft of double layered plaster with multiple layers of paint, in order to access some water damage from leaking plumbing. Saws and sanders create a tremendous amount of dust , so the idea is to prevent that dust from leaving the work area, ventilating it outside through a HEPA filter, and being able to roll everything up and carry it out before doing a final cleanup. Its a very time consuming and expensive process, but it can help protect people's health, and keep a home cleaner. In this circumstance, no lead based paint was found, but i wanted to protect the homeowners from the dust because of their allergies and asthma.